Monday, May 27, 2013

Flat Stanley Comes to Austin!

Flat Stanley has made a stop in Austin, Texas! My cousin Vinny, a second grade student from Shorewood, Illinois, sent him to me a few weeks ago. We've had a wonderful visit, so I thought I would write up a blog post of our activities for his class to read.
What do you think was the first thing we did when he arrived? I sewed him up a new outfit, of course! Since the weather has been in the 80s/90s, Flat Stanley is wearing a blue t-shirt, black pants and red flip flops. Austin is a laid-back city, so we kept the clothes casual!
Since I work a full-time job as an elementary math curriculum specialist, Flat Stanley joined me this week in our district office. He met a co-worker, Carol, and learned about all the deadlines we have to meet by the end of the school year. The last day of school here is June 7th!

The first day Flat Stanley came to work, we assembled 1,000 math toolkits for 3rd and 4th grade students to take home with them this summer. Flat Stanley assisted instructional coach, Christa with the decks of cards. Click here to read more about how we packed the toolkits and solve some math problems!

Since Austin is known as the "live music capital of the world," a trip to Austin wouldn't be complete without a chance to see Henry + The Invisibles! He is a talented 'one man phunk band' from Austin that layers live loops with guitars, keyboards, drums and vocals. This video is of Henry in the kitchen that shows how he layers instruments.
Flat Stanley even got to try some local food. First stop was Smokey Mo's for some Texas Bar-be-que. And a trip to Austin wouldn't be complete without some breakfast tacos. Flat Stanley ordered a potato, bacon, egg and cheese taco with pico de gallo and extra spicy salsa!
I soon found out that Flat Stanley has a big appetite! We went shopping for more food at our local grocery store, the H.E.B., and Flat Stanley noticed something strange when we checked out. There were no bags for our groceries! On March 1st, the City of Austin passed legislation that bans single use plastic and brown paper bags. Austin is the first major city in Texas to pass a ban like this. Good thing that Flat Stanley didn't have to worry about the items he bought...I made him a reusable souvenir 'Bettina Danger' bag to take back to Illinois!

Flat Stanley also wondered why he saw "Keep Austin Weird" in so many places. I explained to him that this slogan originated to support small businesses. You can read more about that at this link.

Lastly, we had to see the bats. Austin is home to 1.5 million bats that live underneath the Congress Street Bridge. It is the largest urban bat colony in the world and a tourist attraction to watch them all take flight at dusk. There are actually more bats than people in Austin! Learn more about how bats are good for our environment here. Don't forget to check out the video of the bats flying!

On Flat Stanley's last night here, he helped me sew an envelope to send him back to Illinois in style. He selected red thread and a super cool geometric stitch design. 

Thank you for sending Flat Stanley, Vinny! Please comment below and let me know he made it back to you! :)


  1. Beth,
    I made it safely back to Shorewood. The class loved the envelope we made. They thought it was quite creative and a great way to recycle. They enjoyed learning about Austin, too. I had a great time visiting!

    Thanks for hosting Stanley while he visited Texas. Your blog was awesome!
    Vinny and Mrs. Burt's 2nd grade

    1. So glad to hear that Flat Stanley made it home safely and that he was able to share his experiences with Vinny and his class!